Education Commissioner to Address Progress in Closing Achievement Gap

Updated: 02/12/2014 10:24 AM By: Jennie Olson

File Photo
File Photo
Photo: Photo: AP/Charles Dharapak

There has long been a problem of white students outperforming non-white students in Minnesota schools, but on Wednesday Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius will hold a news conference to announce that the achievement gap is closing.

The state goal is to close the achievement gap by 50 percent by the year 2017. Cassellius is expected to say that most schools are on pace to do that.

For 2013, 43 percent of school districts met their goals in reading and 32 percent were “very close” to their goal – meaning about three-fourths of the districts were about on track in reading.

In math, 40 percent of school districts met the target and 26 percent were “very close,” so about two-thirds were about on track in math.

Cassellius said she considers the numbers “remarkable.”

The Senate Education Committee is also meeting Wednesday to look at the progress. St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman will be among those testifying; he says that white students outperform non-whites by 40 percent in St. Paul.